Say you’re a new mom yourself, or you see a new mom in the grocery store. Perhaps they look put together and you’re wondering how in the world they are pulling it off (don’t ask them). Or maybe they look like they are going to drop to the ground at any moment (don’t tell them that), and you want to chime in with tips and tricks or have lots of questions.
As a mother to three kids, I can assure there are things you should never say to a new mom.
1. “Are they a good baby?”
I’m not even sure what this means. Are there any bad babies? If a new mom wants to vent to you about her child fussing, crying, not sleeping, she will. All babies have their good days and bad days. This is a learning curve for her and there are lots of moms out there who equate a baby that’s “not good” to being a bad mom, which is horse crap.
Instead ask how things are going and let the new mom lead the conversation.
2. “You look good for just having a baby.”
This is just rude, and doesn’t sound like a compliment at all. It’s saying you look good for having a human come out of you, and then taking care of it while your body is leaking fluids, you are trying to get the hang of a new life, and probably running on less than half the amount of sleep you are used to.
My friend adopted a newborn child and was with her in the grocery store when she was a week old. A stranger came up to her and said, “You look good for having such a young baby.”
3. “When are you going to have another one?”
This is probably the last thing on their mind. In fact, if it’s their first one they may think it is going to be a very long time before they can go through this again.
4. “I lost the baby weight in x-number of weeks.”
Just don’t. Everybody is different and it’s not a top priority to everyone to have the baby weight gone. After my first child was born and I was still in maternity clothes when he was two months old, an older relative told me she was in her bikini after two weeks of having her first because of portion control.
5. Unsolicited advice of any kind.
Unless a new mother has asked you, she doesn’t want to know how you got your child to sleep, how you lost the weight, if it got easier, how you managed to shower/poop/eat/not lose your mind. Do not bombard her with advice unless she looks you in the eye and specifically asks you.
If she says sleep is going okay, that’s not asking for advice.
If she says she is having a hard time nursing, that’s not asking for advice.
If she says she’s too exhausted to talk, that means she’s too tired to take in any advice you have to give.
Believe me, when a mother wants advice or tips, we will hunt until we find what we need. What we don’t need is to be bombarded with all the things everyone else did because she’s not going to keep it straight. So just don’t.